Imphal, March 18 2022: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Law & Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, who have been appointed as observer and co-observer respectively for electing the legislative party leader of BJP in the state, so as to pave way for formation of the new government will be arriving here on Saturday.
After their arrival, the two union ministers will be meeting with the 32 BJP MLAs to decide on the legislative party leader, before seeing to the formation of the new state government.
It may be noted that that the process for the formation of the new government has been delayed till the arrival of the central observers even though 8 days have passed since the declaration of results of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election.
Caretaker CM N Biren Singh, former Works minister Th Biswajit and BJP Manipur Pradesh president A Sharda Devi returned from Delhi to Imphal on Thursday after meeting with central leaders of BJP.
However, all three had conveyed that the matter of the next chief minister of the state was not discussed, but that it would be decided when the BJP central observers come to the state after the Holi festival.
Although it is claimed that there is no crisis or groupism among the BJP MLAs regarding the CM post, the legislative party leader would be elected on Saturday after the arrival of the central observers, following which BJP will stake claim to the Governor for the formation of the new government, thereby commencing the long-awaited process.
The matter of a coalition will also be discussed with the central leaders.
The leadership issue still hangs in the balance even as the state BJP President on Thursday said that the name of the new Chief Minister would be finalised after Holi.
Caretaker CM Biren and Th Biswajit Singh along with Sharda Devi on Tuesday rushed to Delhi to discuss the leadership issue with the central leadership of the BJP and returned to Imphal on Thursday.
Sharda Devi while talking to the media here said that after the Holi festival, the name of the BJP legislative party leader would be finalised.
“In Delhi, we have discussed the outcome of the recent assembly elections with the central leaders.
I have no communication about the next leader of the legislative party,” she had said.
Both Biren and Biswajit, also separately expressing their anguish over the speculative news in the various media about the new Chief Minister, said that the leadership issue was not discussed in Delhi.
“Important Parliament session is going on and the people are in a Holi celebration mood.
So after that the Central leaders and observers would take the decision on the leadership at an appropriate time,” Biswajit Singh said.
In the February-March assembly elections, Biren Singh won from his traditional Heingang assembly constituency for a record 5th time while Biswajit Singh was elected to the assembly for the fourth time from Thongju seat.
The BJP has a thin majority of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.
The BJP’s erstwhile ally the National People’s Party, secured seven seats while the Janata Dal (United) won six seats, and the Congress and the Naga People Front bagged five seats each.
The Kuki People’s Alliance, a newly floated tribal based party, managed two seats while three Independent candidates also got elected to the Assembly.
The NPF, the JD (U) and an Independent member have announced their support to the BJP government.
Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP supremo Conrad K Sangma had also said that his party is ready to join the BJP led government in Manipur if the dominant party invited them.
The NPP, the estranged ally of the BJP in Manipur, had fielded 38 candidates and fought the recent Assembly elections separately and won seven seats.